Photo Quotes: Luke 4

LukeActs2014 04 04bLukeActs2014 04 08LukeActs 2014 04 12bReading for the week of January 26: Luke 4
Click Here for more information on the #LukeActs2014 Reading Plan

I decided to pick a few verses from this week’s reading to memorize. Some of my artist friends illustrate verses in various mediums as part of their devotional time, so I thought I’d give that a try, too. I used PicMonkey, a free, online picture editor, and really enjoyed the process.

Worship Resource: God My Rock, My Strong Deliverer

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah by Diana Wolverton

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah by Diana Wolverton

Worship Resource: God My Rock, My Strong Deliverer
The instrumental accompaniment begins before the first reading and continues until the song’s conclusion.

ONE OR ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 62:5-6 NRSV
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation,
My Fortress; I shall not be shaken.

ALL SINGING:
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty; hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more
Feed me till I want no more

ONE OR ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 62:7-8 NRSV
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
My Mighty Rock, my Refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

ALL SINGING:
Open now the crystal fountain, whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, Strong Deliverer, be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

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Click Here for more beautiful work by today’s featured artist, Diana Wolverton. Please consider patronizing her work.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
United Methodist Hymnal #127, Public Domain
Text: William Williams, 1717-1791
Translated from the Welsh by Peter Williams and the author
Music: John Hughes, 1873-1932

God My Rock, My Strong Deliverer compilation © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are very welcome to use this in a worship setting.

For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Pray Without Ceasing

pray without ceasing1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NRSV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

Prayer is a request for what is good, offered by the devout of God. But we do not restrict this request simply to what is stated in words. We should not express our prayer merely in syllables, but also through the attitude of our soul and in the virtuous actions we do in our life. This is how you pray continually — not by offering prayer in words, but by joining yourself to God through your whole way of life, so that your life becomes one continuous and uninterrupted prayer. – Basil the Great

Extended quote by Steve Harper from Let us Pray: The Essence of Prayer
Here is my distilled essence of prayer. First, prayer is attitude. This means it includes occasional acts, but it is actually an ongoing disposition of the heart, not limited to fixed times of devotion.

Second, prayer is abandonment. It is taking every moment and saying, “Not my will but thine be done.” It is the surrender of egotism and the offering of our lives to God–what Saint Francis called being “an instrument of Your peace.”

And third, prayer is attentiveness, so that God can communicate with us as much in the ordinary moment as in the spectacular ones.

Almost everything else about prayer emerges from one of these three elements. In them we find the foundation for both personal and corporate prayer.

Extended quote by Augustine of Hippo from his Discourse on Psalm 37
And all my desire is before you (Ps 37:10)… This very desire of yours is your prayer; and if your desire is continual, your prayer is continual too. It was not for nothing that the Apostle said: “Pray without ceasing” (1Thes 5:17). Can we unceasingly bend our knees, bow down our bodies or uplift our hands, that he should tell us: Pray without ceasing? No; if it is thus he bids up pray, I do not think we can do so without ceasing.

But there is another way of praying, interior and unbroken, and that is the way of desire. Whatever else you are doing, if you long for that sabbath, you are not ceasing to pray. If you do not want to cease praying, do not cease longing.

Your unceasing desire is your unceasing prayer. You will lapse into silence if you lose your longing. Who did lapse into silence? Those of whom it has been said: “Because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold” (Mt 24.12). The coldness of charity is the heart’s silence; its glowing ardor, the heart’s outcry. If charity is always present, you are ever crying out; if always crying out, you are ever longing; if longing, you have not forgotten the everlasting repose.

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For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

#LukeActs2014: Luke 4

LukeActs logo week 4Reading for the week of January 26: Luke 4
Click Here for more information on the #LukeActs2014 Reading Plan

Consider reading the chapter in several translations and choosing a few verses to memorize. I chose:
Luke 4:4, 8, 12 from The Message (Answering the Devil)
It takes more than bread to really live.
Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God.
Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.
Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.

Main events of this chapter (with links to previous posts):
Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness
Luke 4:1-13 (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13)
Quotes: Resisting Temptation
Quotes: Wilderness, a Place to Prepare
Quotes: The Wilderness

Jesus Proclaims Good News (Isaiah’s Prophecy)
Luke 4:14-22a
Quotes: Good News to the Poor
Worship Resource: Love is Here

Jesus is Rejected in his Hometown
Luke 4:22b-30

Jesus Heals A Demon Possessed Man
Luke 4:31-37 (Mark 1:21-28)

Jesus Heals Simon’s Mother-in-Law and Many Others
Luke 4:38-44 (Matthew 8:14-17; Matthew 4:38-43; Mark 1:29-38)

Quotes: What is Peace?

Shalom 3Luke 7:50 NRSV
And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 8:48 NRSV
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Shalom, a Hebrew word for peace, means restoration of right relationships and a sense of well-being and serenity. When Jesus spoke words of shalom to those who were disenfranchised and disinherited by their society and religious community, it was far more than an everyday greeting. Jesus was bestowing on them a very real spiritual blessing and the restoration of right relationships. Shelem, a Hebrew word for physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness, includes a person’s bodily health and well-being. Shalom and Shelem can never be experienced separately. Peace, right relations, wholeness, and health are intertwined. They do not exist for one person or one institution if they do not exist also for the benefit of all. No one stands upright as long as others remain bent over.
– Helen Bruch Pearson, Do What You Have the Power to Do

Above all things, keep peace within yourself, then you will be able to create peace among others. -Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

No, fighting for peace is rarely a glamorous affair. The icky work of peacemaking is about leaning into discomfort and swallowing your pride. It’s the scary undertaking of feeling ALL the feelings–and choosing love anyway. It’s sticking around for tough conversations when you’d rather stab a pillow. It’s parking your butt in the vinyl kitchen chair and meeting in the middle instead of hiding out at Starbucks. It’s baking scones for your love when you’re feeling vulnerable and exposed. It’s choosing to believe that your husband isn’t going to break your heart, even though your ex-boyfriend butchered it beyond recognition. It’s refusing to say scarring words–the ones you can’t take back and that he’ll never forget; words that will break both your Humpty Dumpty hearts forever. Peacemaking is “Grab the Clorox and clean the toilet bowl” kind of work. It’s also beautiful, sacred, holy work.
Tina Francis, Jerry Springer Scones: A Love Story

Extended quote by Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC
Peace has come to mean the time when there aren’t any wars or even when there aren’t any major wars. Beggars can’t be choosers; we’d most of us settle for that. But in Hebrew peace, shalom, means fullness, means having everything you need to be wholly and happily yourself.

One of the titles by which Jesus is known is Prince of Peace, and he used the word himself in what seem at first glance to be two radically contradictory utterances. On one occasion he said to the disciples, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). And later on, the last time they ate together, he said to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).

The contradiction is resolved when you realize that for Jesus peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle, but the presence of love.

Click here for a beautiful blessing by Steve Garnaas- Holmes entitled Peace I Give to You, based on Jesus’ promise of peace in John 14:27.

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For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

#LukeActs2014: Make Your Way (Luke 3:7-14)

Detail of St. John the Baptist by Rodin

Detail of St. John the Baptist by Rodin

Make Your Way
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
based on Luke 3:7-14

How do we prepare the way in this time and place?

I’ve witnessed the modern day prophets
Dipping your two-edged sword in fear and hate
Divining pure from sin, saved from heretic
Confident in their judgments

There are others, too, who take a different path
Coating your sword with sugar and stories
Tickling our ears with prosperity

We’ve come so far from Brother John
Your blade in hand
Sharp yet washed in the wilderness of prayer
Dripping with Good News
The antidote for our stealthy, venomous existence

“Sever your selfishness so generosity may grow
Cut out the cheating so honesty may flourish
Amputate all falsehoods and threats
That your power may raise the powerless”

This is Your Way
Repentance
Integrity
Compassion
Solidarity

Make your way in us, O God
Make your way in us

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Make Your Way © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Reading for the week of January 19: Luke 3
Click Here for more information on the #LukeActs2014 Reading Plan

Photo Quotes: Luke 3

Luke 03 06 NRSVLuke 03 08Luke 03 16 NRSVReading for the week of January 19: Luke 3
Click Here for more information on the #LukeActs2014 Reading Plan

I decided to pick a few verses from this week’s reading to memorize. Some of my artist friends illustrate verses in various mediums as part of their devotional time, so I thought I’d give that a try, too. I used PicMonkey, a free, online picture editor, and really enjoyed the process.